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PSYCH206: Cognitive Psychology

Unit 6: Problem Solving, Reasoning, and Decision Making   The final unit of this course will examine the cognitive processes of problem solving, reasoning, and decision making.  These processes typically involve heuristics, or rules that will not necessarily result in the correct answer, rather than algorithms, which are rules that will always lead to the correct answer.  Decisions are based on certain opinions and assumptions rather than facts.  They apply previously learned information to novel situations in the hopes of achieving a “correct” result. You will also study examples of how these principles have real-life implications.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately19.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 6.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2: 7.5 hours

☐    6.2.1: 1 hour

☐    6.2.2: 1 hour

☐    6.2.3: 1 hour

☐    6.2.4: 1.5 hours

☐    6.2.5: 1.5 hours

☐    6.2.6: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3: 8 hours

☐    6.3.1: 2 hours

☐    6.3.2: 2 hours

☐    6.3.3: 2 hours

☐    6.3.4: 2 hours

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify and define the types of problems which we encounter and the heuristics we use to move toward a desired goal.
  • Describe creative problem-solving processes.
  • Define inductive and deductive reasoning and the role of executive functioning in the decision-making process.
  • Describe the methodology, conclusions, and potential real-life implications of the newer empirical research in the area of decision making.
  • Identify decision-making heuristics.

  • Reading: Wikibook’s Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience: “Problem Solving from an Evolutionary Perspective” and “Reasoning and Decision Making” Links: Wikibook’s Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience: “Problem Solving from an Evolutionary Perspective” (PDF) and “Reasoning and Decision Making” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: These readings cover subunits 6.1.1–6.2.4.  Please click on the above links and read the entirety of these chapters, which will provide you with a background regarding the evolutionary perspective on the problem-solving process and the findings/theories of the decision-making process.
     
    Terms of Use: The articlesabove arereleased under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original Wikibooks versionsof thesearticles here (HTML)and here (HTML).

6.1 Reasoning   - Lecture: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Components of Propositional Reasoning” and “Factors Hindering and Facilitating Propositional Reasoning” Links: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Components of Propositional Reasoning”(mp3) and “Factors Hindering and Facilitating Propositional Reasoning” (mp3)
 
Instructions: These lectures will cover subunits 6.1.–6.1.4.  Please click on the above link and scroll down to locate and listen to the entirety of the lectures entitled “Components of Propositional Reasoning” and “Factors Hindering and Facilitating Propositional Reasoning.”
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

6.1.1 Deductive and Inductive Reasoning   - Lecture: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Components of Propositional Reasoning” and “Factors Hindering and Facilitating Propositional Reasoning” Links: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Inductive Reasoning” (mp3) and “Inductive Reasoning: Day 2” (mp3)
 
Instructions: Please click on the above links and scroll down to locate and listen to the entirety of the lectures entitled “Inductive Reasoning” and “Inductive Reasoning: Day 2.”
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

6.1.2 Categorical and Conditional Syllogisms   6.1.3 Culture and Deductive Reasoning   6.1.4 The Watson-Selection Task   6.2 Decision Making   - Reading: PubMed Central: Dr. Markus Knauff, Dr. Claudia Budeck, Dr. Ann G. Wolf, and Dr. Kai Hamburger’s (2010) “The Illogicality of Stock-Brokers: Psychological Experiments on the Effects of Prior Knowledge and Belief Biases on Logical Reasoning in Stock Trading” Link: PubMed Central: Dr. Markus Knauff, Dr. Claudia Budeck, Dr. Ann G. Wolf, and Dr. Kai Hamburger’s (2010) “The Illogicality of Stock-Brokers: Psychological Experiments on the Effects of Prior Knowledge and Belief Biases on Logical Reasoning in Stock Trading” (HTML or PDF)
 
Instructions: This reading will cover subunits 6.2.1–6.2.4 and address the more applied aspect of the concepts outlined in your previous readings.  Please click on the above link and read the entirety of this article. You can also download the article in PDF format from the top right corner of the page.
 
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  • Reading: The Journal of American Medical Association's “Effect of Availability Bias and Reflective Reasoning on Diagnostic Accuracy Among Internal Medicine Residents” Link: The Journal of American Medical Association's “Effect of Availability Bias and Reflective Reasoning on Diagnostic Accuracy Among Internal Medicine Residents” (HTML or PDF)

    Instructions: This readins will cover subunits 6.2.1–6.2.4 and address the more applied aspect of the concepts outlined in your previous readings.  Please click on the above link and read the entirety of this article. You can also download the article in PDF format from the top right corner of the page.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.1 The Utility Approach   6.2.2 Misleading Effects   6.2.3 Justification in Decision Making   6.2.4 Frontal Lobe and Executive Functions   - Reading: Lehigh Psychological Services version of Dr. Adam J. Cox’s “Executive Functions & ADHD” Link: Lehigh Psychological Services version of Dr. Adam J. Cox’s “Executive Functions and ADHD” “Executive Functions & ADHD” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the above link and read the entirety of this article, which explains (a) the functions of executive control processes and (b) the executive control issues of those persons with ADHD.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.5 Decision-Making Models   - Lecture: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Decision Making Models” and “More Decision Making Models” Links: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s "Decision Making Models" (mp3) and "More Decision Making Models" (mp3)
 
Instructions: Please click on the above link, and scroll down to locate and listen to the entirety of the lectures entitled listed above.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.6 Decision Making Heuristics   - Lecture: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Decision Making Heuristics: Representativeness,” “Decision Making Heuristics: Availability,” and “Decision Making: Overconfidence” Links: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Decision Making Heuristics: Representativeness,” (mp3) “Decision Making Heuristics: Availability,”(mp3) and “Decision Making: Overconfidence” (mp3)
 
Instructions: Please click on the above link, and scroll down to locate and listen to the entirety of the lectures listed above.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

6.3 Problem Solving   - Reading: PubMed Central: Dr. Matthew M. Walsh and Dr. John R. Anderson (2008), “The Strategic Nature of Changing Your Mind” Link: PubMed Central: Dr. Matthew M. Walsh and Dr. John R. Anderson (2008), “The Strategic Nature of Changing Your Mind”(HTMLor PDF)
 
Instructions: This reading will seek to bridge the topics covered in subunits 6.2.1–6.2.4.  Please click on the link above and read the entirety of this article, which will illustrate problem-solving research in cognitive psychology. You can also download the article in PDF format from the top right corner of the page.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: University of Houston: Dr. Richard Kasschau’s Lecture Series Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: “Lecture 19” and “Lecture 20” Links: University of Houston: Dr. Richard Kasschau’s Lecture Series Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: “Lecture 19” (YouTube) and “Lecture 20” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: These lectures will cover subunits 6.3.1–6.3.3 and segue into information from subunit 6.3.4 (i.e., creativity).  Please note that the content covered in these lectures will overlap with your readings, but they cover more breadth in some areas and greater depth in others. 
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.            

6.3.1 Problem-Solving Defined   - Lecture: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Problem Solving Terms” Link: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Problem Solving Terms” (mp3)
 
Instructions: Please click on the above link and scroll down to locate and listen to the entirety of the lecture entitled “Problem Solving Terms”
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3.2 Types of Problems   - Lecture: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Types of Problems” Link: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s "Types of Problems" (mp3)
 
Instructions: Please click on the above link, and scroll down to locate and listen to entirety of the lecture entitled “Types of Problems”
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3.3 Problem Solving Heuristics   - Lecture: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Problem Solving Heuristics” Link: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Problem Solving Heuristics” (mp3)
 
Instructions: Please click on the above link and scroll down to locate and listen to the entirety of the lecture entitled “Problem Solving Heuristics”
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3.4 Creative Problem Solving   - Lecture: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Creative Problem Solving” Link: Oakland University: Professor Cindy Sifonis’s “Creative Problem Solving” (mp3)
 
Instructions: Please click on the above link and scroll down to locate and listen to the entirety of the lecture entitled “Creative Problem Solving”
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.